An open letter from a teacher

. April 7, 2020.

This is not what we signed up for. That could easily have been said by any administrator, teacher, parent, or student after hearing about the three week school closing. Whether we signed up for it or not, this school closing is happening. Fortunately what I have experienced as a teacher during this time so far is an incredible amount of support, patience, and camaraderie between everyone affected.

Sure, it is not an ideal situation. I went into teaching because I love helping people and I love working with my students. My favorite part of teaching is getting to see the students everyday. So of course it was a bit heartbreaking to hear that schools were closing for three weeks or possibly longer. But teachers and administrators are in the profession because they enjoy helping students, so these men and women buckled down and got to business. 

Our administrators have spent tireless nights keeping in contact with parents and teachers so everyone knows what is going on. And this is incredibly tough because there are so many changes being made on a daily basis. These administrators are making sure their teachers have the tools and support necessary to work online. They’re working to connect families to internet access, personally delivering books and work material to students’ homes, and staying in the office so they’re in the phone’s reach of parents’ questions and concerns.  

We teachers have been spending countless hours teaching ourselves how to work various online platforms to ensure our kids still get the best instruction we possibly can provide during this time. We answer emails of anxious students, trying to help them through this change. We worry about where they’ll get their next meal. We worry about their safety and if they’re staying out of trouble. Yet despite these worries, we teachers put on a smile to make sure the kids know everything will be ok.

It is times like these when the true job of a teacher and administrator is revealed. It’s not just instructing kids, but truly caring about them, too. 

As my students came to clean out their lockers and pick up their work, one came up to me and said, “I really love school. I’d much rather be here over this break than at home.” 

All I could say to that was, “I completely agree.” 

Join our NEW Facebook group, Toledo Parent Support Group, where the Toledo area community can post local resources for parents during the coronavirus pandemic.